No Nuts Derby Pie!

by Cameron Correll

Photo courtesy of The Spruce

Winchester Traditions is a cooking series written by local resident Cameron Correll. Each recipe is inspired by the rich history of Clark County.

I have been cursed with a very unfortunate allergy to nuts and peanuts. This allergy eliminates so many delicious treats from my diet, probably for the better. When April turns to May and Derby season nears, I do have one trick to help enjoy a classic favorite, Derby Pie. My mother-in-law first introduced me to this trick, and I have found it makes a great swap in a dessert that traditionally calls for walnuts or pecans. A simple substitution of crushed pretzels gives the same salty crunch that a nut would in this recipe. If you don’t like pretzels, oats help achieve the same consistency. This trick also works for pecan pie, another southern favorite.

Derby pie is a dessert created by the Kern Family in Prospect, Kentucky, for their restaurant Melrose Inn. Many of the Kern’s family and friends had various names for the pie, and Derby Pie was selected out of a hat and officially christened. The term “Derby Pie” has been trademarked by the Kern family, who are incredibly vigilant about unapproved use. It combines chocolate, walnuts, and bourbon in a pie crust. Their recipe is a secret, but you can find many similar recipes online. The recipe below is inspired by this one found on The Spruce Eats website. 

Near Winchester, countless horse farms can be found, some even boasting a Derby Winner itself. When you visit Winchester, we recommend a scenic drive through our rolling hills where you can see horses and additional livestock grazing. Derby Day is a prominent spectacle across Kentucky. In Winchester restaurants and homes, this day pairs nicely with a mint julep, a pretty hat, and of course, a slice of pie. 

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Pie

– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
– 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
– 2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
– 1 cup pretzels, chopped
– 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Pinch salt
– 1 ready-made pie crust (for a 9-inch pie)

– Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350 F.
– Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
– Add the eggs and melted and cooled butter, and mix to combine.
– Stir in the bourbon, pretzels, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt.
– Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.
– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is set.
– Set the pie on a wire rack and let cool before slicing. Serve and enjoy.